Part of the Big Room at Carlsbad Caverns. It’s more immense than you can imagine, but I did try to shoot it well. Luckily if you do a self-guided tour, you can bring a tripod. At least you could in 2016. Still, leaving the ISO too low means VERY long shutter speeds (this shot is 3 1/2 seconds), so I used a higher ISO and kept the f-stop in the middle of the lens for the most part. Otherwise I think I’d still be down there!
Obviously the lighting is the biggest issue. It’s dim with bright spotlights and other fixtures arranged to show off the various features of the limestone formations. I ended up underexposing most of the time to keep from really clipping the highs, but it was almost impossible to do. Plus underexposing too much would have introduced more noise which would be a problem considering how many of the caves and grottos are under-lit. White balance was also a challenge. In post I changed colors and temperature to reflect what I remembered of the color. Crazy, but I think I managed a few shots, like this one, that are ok. It’s out of the way, but if you have a chance to go it is worth it.
Processing insight welcome.
Is this a composite: No
Lr for RAW processing and a crap ton of work managing the wide tonal range. Lots of dodging and burning. Lens correction and transform as well. Some sharpening & noise reduction. Photoshop to remove a couple of bright lights and used Frequency Separation to paint color onto an area that was too bright and focused too much attention.